South African reggae icon Lucky Dube was murdered Thursday night during a botched carjacking in Johannesburg. He is being mourned throughout Africa... and in Jamaica as well.
“We cannot afford to lose inspirational role models to crime,” Uganda’s New Vision newspaper editorialized. “Fare thee well Dube. You gave it all and the world paid you in shame.”
Legendary reggae artist Sly Dunbar told the Jamaica Observer: “The reggae that he played was excellent, very close to what we play down here.”
Dunbar also pointed out a grim irony: Dube’s musical hero, Peter Tosh, was shot and killed during an attempted robbery 20 years ago.
Lucky Dube had established himself as a Zulu pop musician before transitioning into reggae in 1984. His first reggae record, “Rasta Never Die,” was banned from radio by South Africa’s apartheid government.
Dube went on to release more than 20 albums, most recently “Respect” in 2006. (Downloadable from iTunes.)
In memory of Lucky Philip Dube, click here and listen to “House of Exile,” from his 1992 album of the same name.